Béatrix observed the King’s speech with mild curiosity. Cold, porcelain white fingers gripped a steaming mug, which did little to thaw the frost within them. The vampiress sat with a posture echoing the noble upbringing of her human years, poise fit for a woman who was raised to attend events with kings and princes. Wouldn’t her mother and father be proud to see her now, attending such an event. The frenchwoman chuckled to herself. Hardly, they would roll in their graves to see the feminist undead head hunter that their perfect, subservient little girl had become.
She was subservient once, and it left a bad taste in her mouth. Bowing before authority, bowing before men
on the basis of patriarchy alone just wasn’t in her blood. As such, her listening to the King’s speech was nothing more than the previously stated mild
curiosity. She had no doubt that she was among the eldest of the vampires on this floating rock, and had at least double their body count under her belt. No one truly ruled over her, but perhaps what he had to say would provide some entertainment in the tedious monotony of eternity.
In the moments after Dmitri Tepes finished his speech, the detective death dealer did what she does best. Observe them, gauge their reactions, read the surface thoughts of the minds of the vampires weaker than she. This was entertaining, indeed. Her cool blue eyes went first to the young prince, who looked as though his father had just publicly gutted him. Then to the radiant princess, who attempted to discreetly remind the boy of his role to play. The other Tepes family members hardly reacted at all, no doubt they knew of these plans beforehand. Some of the more independent vampires appeared to be reacting positively to this turn of events. This was their shot at glory, after all.
Une tête couronnée ne trouve pas de repos.
This was nothing more than a game that Dmitri was playing. There was no real power to be gained here, a cocksure ruler such as himself, so young in his reign, would never relinquish any of his control. Disgusting
, but unsurprising at the same time. She was not sure of Dmitri’s age, but once vampires reached a couple of centuries, they often grew… bored
. And where would Dmitri’s boredom leave the city of New York? Decimated, like so many other historical towns in the aftermath of bored, old vampires playing their games?
To put it lightly, Trixy was annoyed. Not fearful, no, never. While she is firmly aligned with the Artois family, she is not of their bloodline. She has her own wealth, accrued over main centuries of bloodshed, and she has a job and a place to live and her many global connections. She had been playing this “game” for years. No, Trixy was annoyed because this would make her job — both of her jobs — much more difficult. How could she protect all of the Artois children when they were scattered in different homes? This game put the young visionaries especially at risk to their more battle-hardened, aged counterparts. Secondly, this little royal amusement would wreak havoc on humanity. This was going to cause chaos. There would be increased murders, crimes, and rogue vampires running around after failed Turnings. The head detective of NYPD’s supernatural crimes division was about to get a whole lot busier — she might even have to take day shifts.
T'es rien qu'un connard Tepes.
As if on cue, her work phone buzzed with an incoming text regarding a situation that had occurred at Central Park last night. Fantastic, so it begins. Trixy scanned the contents of the message and tucked the phone back away. The detectives on duty could handle the clean up and questioning, informing her was merely courtesy. Focusing back on the action in the room, the frenchwoman’s eyes fell upon the leader of her found family. She could not be sure if Ambrosia had any part or say in the decision that Dmitri made, but Béatrix would give her assurance just the same.
The ebony haired femme fatale stood up and gracefully made her way to the blonde artist. Placing a gentle hand on Ambrosia’s shoulder, she spoke quietly in french. “My protection of you and your family is not a luxury of your birth. I was never bought, it is a choice that I make gladly every day. I promise to do everything in my means to ensure the safety of your children during these… times of trial.”
She said with a genuine smile that was surprisingly warm in comparison to the ice queen’s usual expressions.
Béatrix took her leave having said all that she had meant to. Her intentions were clear and unwavering. Now that all of the pomp and circumstance had concluded, she wished to retire in her room until sunset. As she passed by the table to retrieve her emptied mug, the most unexpected thing happened. A large black bird flew down from the rafters and fetched a letter from one of the female vampires in the room. Trixy didn’t recognize her. Some independent, young, unimportant vampire (unless she started stirring up trouble). But… sending ravens like that… that was an old practice, one that not many vampires did these days. So, who was she?
The raven then took flight for what Trixy assumed would be the nearest open window. Probably off to tell tale of the news that had just been announced. Instead of following that prediction, the large corvid flapped its wings in Trixy’s direction, deftly dropping the parchment in its talons on the table beside her place setting. Trixy squinted down at the letter curiously as the bird made its way back up to the rafters. The seal on the back looked familiar in a way that she couldn’t quite place. She’d seen it somewhere, stamped on some document or another… but… where? And when
Trixy retrieved the parcel and flipped it over, as if she had to confirm that it was truly for her. It was addressed in elegant, decorative script. The ink was a shimmering gold color, but one word in particular sounded off red alerts in her mind. Mrs.
Béatrix de la Croix. No one in this city knew that she had once been married. And no one would consider her married still. The vaguely familiar seal, the strange newcomer, the trick with the ravens, and
the knowledge of her marriage... Who was
this girl, and who did she think
she was? Without opening the letter, Béatrix raised her icy gaze to the dark-haired woman with centuries worth of scrutinizing suspicion in her eyes.